WORDS: Laura McCarthy
When fans of MUDVAYNE heard the news earlier this year that Greg Tribbett and Matt McDonough had formed a new band with Billy Keeton and Perry Stern from SKRAPE, and that an album was on its way, there was anticipation in the air. And, thankfully, it seems with good reason.
The band are obviously having great fun on this album. Keeton’s vocals are thick and aggressive, the perfect tone for this solid release. McDonough is impressive as always on the drums, holding back just enough before smashing it down in true pro fashion.
Stand out tracks are the likes LYLAB and The Calling respectively. LYLAB, where the weight of the bass and the vocals carry through all too quickly, the rise and fall between the softer melody and the aggressive chorus, means a re-listen is imminent. Equally, The Calling is a gem in itself. It’s pretty funky in places, really making it hard not to bob along. There’s not often you come across a good interlude these days, but AUDIOTOPSY cleanse your pallet with a little track called H2O to get you in the mood for the next track, suitably named Swim. Deeply hypnotic, and filled with great sway and throb of melody, as in comes crashing in the harder hitting moments of the chorus. There are many more oceanic parallels that we could write, but the point being that this is a great track.
AUDIOTOPSY stick to form with Disguise Your Devils; melodic and beautiful without losing any of its aggression and vigour. This more contemplative track is followed by another corker, Burn Your Sky. Undoubtedly, there will be some great performances to come out of this album. You have to consider that these guys have some big expectations on moving on with their music, especially Tribbett and McDonough, but they really do deliver on sound. With obvious influences from all their time in well-known bands, the experience they have shown and the result is very entertaining.
The final few songs still keep momentum and remain just as interesting and bouncy as ever. Frozen Scars will become an instant favourite for those more melancholy days, with the same circular guitar riffs and unsettling strains to entrance you.
AUDIOTOPSY are seasoned professionals at their craft, and for a debut album, it feels almost unfair to praise it so much for its consistency. However, there is justification; Natural Causes is not just a repeat of previous bands efforts. There are new ideas and new life in all areas of the band, the vocals and the playing style both focused in their direction and still fun in the delivery. The clear enjoyment of putting this record together and starting something new shines through. A familiar and yet not at all repetitive album, this amalgamation of rock heavy musicians really hits the spot.
Natural Causes is set for release on October 2nd via Napalm Records